14 ¶ And Abimelech took sheep, and oxen, and menservants, and womenservants, and gave them unto Abraham, and restored him Sarah his wife. 15 And Abimelech said, Behold, my land is before thee: dwell where it pleaseth thee. 16 And unto Sarah he said, Behold, I have given thy brother a thousand pieces of silver: behold, he is to thee a covering of the eyes, unto all that are with thee, and with all other: thus she was reproved. 17 So Abraham prayed unto God: and God healed Abimelech, and his wife, and his maidservants; and they bare children. 18 For the LORD had fast closed up all the wombs of the house of Abimelech, because of Sarah Abraham’s wife.
The graciousness of a heathen king should cause many so-called Christian leaders shame. He not only did what God told him to do, restoring Sarah, but he made Abraham even wealthier than he was. Not only did he offer Abraham material wealth but he gave him the right to live in his kingdom wherever he wished.
Abimelech then scolds Sarah, calling Abraham her brother, as she and Abraham had dissembled regarding. He has rewarded Abraham and tells Sarah, in so many words, to stay faithful to Abraham, her husband, to not risk other men’s intentions toward her. She is never to call Abraham her brother again. Both have been reproved in this. Reproof, from which reprove comes, is correction. See the synonyms to reproof in this verse and do a word search to see the phrases and words it is linked with elsewhere to confirm.
2Timothy 3:16 All scripture is given by inspiration of God, and is profitable for doctrine, for reproof, for correction, for instruction in righteousness:
Remember, as you read Abraham’s journey, that the Bible is the story of God’s work in reconciling man to Himself. Reproof is an essential part of that correction, that instruction in righteousness, and fundamental to that doctrine.
It is important to note here that Abraham prayed for Abimelech, whom he had wronged. Prayers of supplication for others are important, as God reveals throughout the Bible. Christians are commanded to pray for each other.
James 5:16 Confess your faults one to another, and pray one for another, that ye may be healed. The effectual fervent prayer of a righteous man availeth much.
We are to pray for kings and all those in authority. As there were no Christian kings when this was written we are called to pray for the heathen leaders, that they come to Christ but for mercy and grace to be applied to them, as well.
1Timothy 2:1 ¶ I exhort therefore, that, first of all, supplications, prayers, intercessions, and giving of thanks, be made for all men; 2 For kings, and for all that are in authority; that we may lead a quiet and peaceable life in all godliness and honesty. 3 For this is good and acceptable in the sight of God our Saviour; 4 Who will have all men to be saved, and to come unto the knowledge of the truth.
We are to pray even for those who abuse us for our faith. Notice the context of God’s perfection here.
Matthew 5:43 ¶ Ye have heard that it hath been said, Thou shalt love thy neighbour, and hate thine enemy. 44 But I say unto you, Love your enemies, bless them that curse you, do good to them that hate you, and pray for them which despitefully use you, and persecute you; 45 That ye may be the children of your Father which is in heaven: for he maketh his sun to rise on the evil and on the good, and sendeth rain on the just and on the unjust. 46 For if ye love them which love you, what reward have ye? do not even the publicans the same? 47 And if ye salute your brethren only, what do ye more than others? do not even the publicans so? 48 Be ye therefore perfect, even as your Father which is in heaven is perfect.
God honored Abraham’s prayer and healed Abimelech’s household.